New Gun Ban Could Help Gun Advocates In Long Run

Ban May Pave Way For Change In Concealed Carry Law

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new gun ban into law. California is now the fifth state to prohibit openly carrying handguns.

The new law only bans openly carrying unloaded weapons, so gun advocates say it really has little bearing on them and could be the first step in a change in the concealed carry law.

The new gun law signed by Governor Brown adds to the existing law that banned openly carrying a loaded weapon. Now openly carrying any weapon, loaded or unloaded, is against the law in the Golden State.

"I think this is a good bill. Even law enforcement was in favor of this bill," said the Chairman of the Kern County Democratic Party, Candi Easter.

The people 23ABC spoke to agreed with the law or didn't care because it covers unloaded guns.

"There were some issues with law enforcement coming out and responding to people that had exposed firearms. There were people going around carrying exposed firearms to stir the pot," said Matt Janes, Second Amendment Sports vice president.

The head of the Kern County Democratic Party says she likes the new ban, but that doesn't mean she is anti-gun.

"I don’t know why people think all Democrats are opposed to the Second Amendment. It’s our Constitution and we are in favor of the Constitution," Easter said.

Easter says she owns a gun, but thinks this new law will help police.

"The only people that can carry an unconcealed weapon would be law enforcement, so they have the intimidation factor, which they need it for their job," Easter said.

At Second Amendment Sports, they say the ban on open carry could open the way for a change in the concealed carry law.

"There were some people that were on both sides, that were like, 'Hey go ahead take that because now I am going to sue you because now you have infringed my civil liberties.' I can’t even carry a firearm even if it is unloaded, so now I’m going to sue the state because I want the right to carry a firearm," Janes said.

Gun advocates say they want California to switch from a “may” issue to a “shall” issue state. That would require local law enforcement to issue a concealed hand gun permit unless the person had a criminal history.

"We have a civil liberty that we have the right to keep and bear arms and that means we should be able to have a fire arm loaded on our person," Janes said.

The law signed Monday goes into effect Jan. 1.

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